So, with nothing precisely new here, the Estelon X-Diamond is still a magnificent loudspeaker. Physically dominant, the big white dinosaur-bone shape is elegant and most definitely different — certain to inspire some rather definitive opinions on their aesthetics. Personally, I really like the look — and in my exhaustive, formal, and rigorous scientific testing during CES (I asked a few guys), the response was overwhelmingly in favor. As my wife says, they don’t look like phallic symbols (not her phrasing) or space ships. I’m not sure she’d really favor the Jurassic look either, but again, that’s not the point — the point is, Estelon is different. And not just in looks — the sound I heard here was easily in the Best-In-Show category.
The X-Diamond marks the top of the chain — other rooms had the new-ish and smaller XB and the new-ish-er stand-mount XC. It’s really hard to say that the loudspeakers share a “house sound” unless you consider “transparency” a sound quality instead of a lack of an obvious coloration. None are zippy or zingy, and moving up the chain gains you more finesse overall and power in the bass. When you hit the Diamond (named for its extraordinarily expensive tweeter) detail becomes spooky-good — and some of the best I’ve ever heard. $65,o00 is a lot of money for anything short of a home, but if you’re looking for state-of-the-art performance in a full-range package, you can spend a whole lot more and end up with something that looks like Megatron. Me? I’d go with the Estelon X-Diamond.
That is, right up to and until I hear the Estelon eXtreme. The eXtreme isn’t a real product (yet), but Alissa Vassilkova mentioned in passing that “something else” will be coming soon from Estelon. Pricing and specs are still a ways out, but the styling will be a departure, she said, winking. We should have more info in the back half of the year.
Shown at CES with a Da Vinci DAC from Light Harmonic fed from an Aurender music server, a suite of Signature Line electronics from Vitus Audio, and a Haas turntable, mounted with a Durand tonearm. The stunning Silver Circle Tchaik 6 sat next to the rack.